I love Pine Ridge. I think that their wines are a great balance of tannins, big luscious fruit, and the high end “reserved” structure that makes a big napa cab great.
Recently, my wife and I opened a 2002 Pine Ridge Rutherford Cab. Holy cow. It was fantastic. It was simply the type of wine that was all around fantastic. Beautiful nose, viscous, tart and tannic, big fruit – a perfect Napa cab.
This brings us to the 2006. It’s certainly not the ’02 Rutherford…but it ain’t too shabby either.
Being that it’s a 2006, it’s still young in terms of Napa cabs…especially ones that are built to last like the PR ones. I think that in 2-3 years, it’ll be settled down enough for those who enjoy a limited amount of bottle age on their big ol Napa cabs. 3-7 years will most likely be prime time for this guy for those who like a little more bottle age on theirs. Either way, it’s entertaining now and in the future.
COLOR = Bright deep ruby red. Its a beautiful color….still young looking, but you can tell it has deep potential. It really is beautiful and dense without being ‘black’.
NOSE = Its different. Not your average ‘minty’ napa scent of a big cab made from hot napa floor fruit. I hate to say this, b/c it sounds worse than it is, but it is almost like a rubbing alcohol scent. It’s ‘tart’ and piercing smelling, if that makes any sense. There are meaty, steak-like undertones. Third is the fruit. Dark, red/black fruit. It’s tight though, and this has even been open for 2+ hours. Maybe it’ll evolve over time. A LITTLE dark chocolate as well…but very faint.
TASTE = Very acidic and tannic at first. Pierces the tounge – first splash towards the back, the center, then the sides. It all gives way to a nice balance of the red/black fruit, chocolate, and some acidic/earthy notes. The fruit leaves rather quickly…and leaves the alchohol and heat.
FINISH =Finish is long overall, but the fruit leaves early. Lots of tannic acid on the tounge and teeth.
SUMMARY: This is still a baby, and it’s their ‘B’ game. I know that Pine Ridge has their ‘Crimson Creek’ and such, but I consider that their ‘C’ or ‘D’ game. The Andrus is a different league all together…they all are at that stage of the game…so if we were to start at the ‘Rutherford’ or the ‘Stags Leap District’ as what I consider representative of Pine Ridge, then this is not a bad ‘baby brother’.
As I said earlier, it’s too young to really drink now AND get the most out of it. Please understand that it’s 110% drinkable now (and thoroughly enjoyable)…but just knowing what their wines are capable of, and what you can get for $55 in general, this is still too tight and young to really open.
I think that in 1 year from now, after it settles down a little, the fruit will start to show. 2-3 years will bring it out even more…and will be the stage that most people like it. 3-5 is where the ‘bottle age’ folks will begin to appreciate it, and 5+ is all going to be worth the wait.
For now, crack this open with a steak or something that needs a big acidic wine to cut thru the ‘savory’. As wrong as it was, we had this with pan seared scallops and a parmesan risotto. It worked b/c of the big heavy flavors to cut thru…but it wasn’t perfect. A nice Sancerre would have been better, but…
PINE RIDGE WEBSITE NOTES:
TASTING NOTES: A dense ruby hue hints at the intensity of this young, bright wine. Aromas of blueberry, red cherry and raspberry are accented by darker notes of coffee bean, spicy bramble and hints of caramel. The palate is equally inviting, opening with fresh, sweet dark berry and baked cherry fruit before the firm tannins take hold and carry the long finish through deeper tones of black tea, briar and toasty oak. Decant for 30 minutes to allow this youthful wine to open up to its best flavors.
FOOD PAIRING: Though powerful, this wine is classically balanced and easy to pair with food. It will brighten braised and rich dishes like osso bucco or buttery roasted chicken but has the tannin to pair beautifully with grilled meats and aged cheeses. As it ages, try it with more delicate dishes like mushroom risotto or high-grade tuna.
Varietal: 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Malbec, 4% Petit Verdot, 4% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc
Aging Potential: 10 to 15 years
Suggested Retail Price: $54